Social Media: The Dangers of Posting First and Asking Questions Later

By Caryn A. Stevens

According to a 2018 Pew Research Study, 68% of adults that are online engage in the use of social media and networking sites, many on a daily basis. For some, checking social media is the first thing they do every morning when they wake up, and something they do a dozen more times throughout the day.

The Popularity of Social Media

Social media has quickly become a platform for adults to share their lives, activities, events, travels, and day-to-day experiences with family and friends at all hours of the day and night. We can simply log on and instantly connect with hundreds or thousands of other users in the social media world. When something happens in our lives, we are quick to jump on social media and share our latest “news,” and then wait for the instant gratification of “likes” and “loves” to come rolling in from our extended network of social media “friends.” We feel loved. Accomplished.  Well-liked. And for some—less alone. We seek this attention.

For individuals going through a divorce, the social media world can be a sounding board to receive support from our friends, get advice on what to do, or simply vent about what a jerk our ex is. We love to post first and ask questions later.

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4 Factors to Help You Value a Business During a Divorce

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By Dane E. Leitner

Generally, people in Florida have an understanding that if you get divorced, there is a premise that the marital assets and liabilities will be distributed equally unless there is a valid basis for an unequal distribution.

However, a common question is:

What is my equal value of a business that was formed by only one spouse during the marriage?

If only one spouse is involved in the business, the other spouse likely thinks that the business is worth a lot more than it really is.  And the spouse that is involved in the business is most likely proud of its financial stability any other day, but come time for divorce, all of a sudden it’s a business that is worth nothing.

Below are four common factors to consider that may help in calculating your business valuation or come into play during your divorce proceedings:

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1 in 17:  Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) in Family Court

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By Eddie Stephens, Esquire and Dr. Michael O’Hara Jr., Psy.D.

Originally published in the Family Law Section’s, The Commentator (Fall, 2016, page 23).

Stephens: Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a personality disorder defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as a pervasive pattern of disregard for, or violation of, the rights of others. An impoverished moral sense or conscience is often apparent, as well as a history of crime, legal problems, and/or impulsive and aggressive behavior.

Approximately 3% of males and 1% of females in the United States suffer from this disorder.  As with any psychological disorder, the stress of a divorce often magnifies harmful consequences that accompany the behaviors associated with this disorder.

For every 17 divorce cases an attorney handles, 1 of the parties will be affected by this disorder. When an attorney comes across 1 of the 17, it is important for that attorney to have an understanding of the psychopathy in order to navigate the many obstacles this scenario presents. Continue reading

How the Brad Pitt / Angelina Jolie Divorce Will Impact Family Law

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By Eddie Stephens

When you spawn with another you will be tied to them forever.

This gets complicated when the relationship between the parents fails.

The State of Florida protects parents and their relationships.  In fact, Florida Law provides:

It is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing.

Establishing parental responsibility over the children is a major issue in the dissolution of a marriage.  Parental responsibility includes who gets to make decisions over a child’s life, such as what school the child(ren) should attend or what medical treatment(s) are appropriate.

Decision-making authority can be granted to one parent if the decision making of the other parent has proven to be detrimental to the child(ren).

This does not mean one parent is granted sole custody if the other parent is seemingly not as good a parent or has a substance abuse issue or has a volatile temper. Continue reading

So You Are Thinking About Getting Married?

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By Eddie Stephens

So you are thinking about getting married?

Marriage is more than two people pledging love and devotion to each other; it is the formation of a legal relationship.  Because the State of Florida has an interest in protecting and maintaining its citizens and in protecting and advancing families, upon your marriage, the state has many laws that regulate what will happen to a person’s estate when the dissolution of the marriage is sought or when a spouse dies.

In other words, getting married has many consequences on the ownership of your money and possessions, the way you will raise your children, and the way you will relate to your partner.  These rules are complicated and convoluted.  A basic understanding of these rules is necessary for anyone contemplating this type of union. Continue reading